A firm believer in attitude, teamwork, discipline, and integrity, Mangala Rodrigo is the Chief Executive Officer of Sampath Information Technology Solutions. He can work on his own to deal with technical and administrative tasks professionally as an IT professional with over 20 years of experience in Technology Implementations and Consultancy in Information and Communication Technology, both locally and globally. He works in high-stress circumstances with chances for personal growth as well as important contributions to the organization’s goals, objectives, and growth, as well as societal development.

When the parent firm decided to form a subsidiary to provide IT services 14 years ago, the amazing journey began. Sampath Information Technology Solutions was founded in 2006 after the company was registered. The company began as an end-user equipment manufacturer, supplying end-user goods and services to the parent company, and has since progressed to its current position as a Systems Integration Provider and Strategic IT partner for business transformation.

When asked about his experience with the company, he characterizes it as “remarkable.” This is in light of the organization’s culture, which is distinct from that of other IT service providers in the business, with the company inheriting a financial technology (FinTech) and IT services culture. He claims that this has aided the organization’s evolution from its inception to its current state. Even though the company began as an end-user equipment manufacturer, they are now in a stronger position to compete with top systems integrators and startup companies both locally and internationally. The major reason for this is believed to be the organization’s most valuable asset, its personnel, and its ability to transform its ideas into innovation. They have implemented industry-first solutions in the FinTech space in the recent past.

Mangala believes that his clients and the solutions he provides have a devoted following because they respect the services and enhancements, he brings in to help them transform their organizations. He goes on to say that the company has a presence in a variety of industries, including financial services, insurance, telecommunications, education, and conglomerates, and that they offer a unique set of products and services ranging from end-user equipment to complex software development and integration services. He also mentions that they provide business consulting and post-implementation assistance as part of their professional services. He explains that Managed Services, Enterprise Solutions, and Software Solutions are the three main pillars of the company and that they are the pioneers in the Managed Services business because they have been doing it since the beginning, with a team across the country providing around-the-clock services while maintaining service levels.

They provide end-user equipment, branch transformation products, and services such as virtual teller machines, cash deposit machines, cash recyclers, and ServiceDesk under-managed services. The company’s strategic connections with product and service suppliers, according to Mangala, differentiate its value proposition by sharing the industry’s best experience and best practices with its clients. This would aid them in providing a better consumer experience in the long term. He also mentions their key partners, who are assisting customers in their business transformation journey by sharing the best technology and their knowledge. SolarWinds, Oracle, Microsft, HP, IBM, Kaspersky, Temenos, GRG Banking, UiPath, and Splunk are among his important partners.

Talking about Sri Lanka’s thriving tech companies, Mangala mentions that startups generate possibilities for entrepreneurship and that because the tech business is the fastest expanding domain, opportunities are increasing in the technology space, allowing entrepreneurs to put their ideas into action. Furthermore, he claims that it promotes healthy competition and that buyers will profit from the variety of options available. The benefits of startups evolve around the fact that the younger generation is constantly open to new ideas, flexible, and eager to put them into action. He says that their courage propels the idea to the execution stage rather than stopping it in the middle. This will aid the technology industry in the long run by providing a communal knowledge base, and it will be regarded as a national treasure.

When asked about his thoughts on the government’s heavy concentration on technology, Mangala suggests looking at it from a global viewpoint. The technology and its activities are backed by a well-established policy framework by the appropriate government. He cites Singapore as the finest example, stating that their national ICT policy is transparent to the public and that the systems in place are tightly linked, protecting the public’s anonymity and integrity.

He adds that while a technology-focused approach is beneficial, structured execution and control of the implementation, management, maintenance, and continual improvement would necessitate time and effort. Moving on, he says that ICTA is the focal point for national-level initiatives and execution and that while some initiatives have been implemented so far, they should be pushed out quickly and with a focus on continual improvement. Establishing a national ICT framework would benefit the public by allowing systems to communicate with one another, increasing process productivity and resulting in inconvenience and contentment.

Mangala reports on emerging developments both worldwide and locally, stating that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning have all become buzzwords (DL). He claims that, if one has paid attention, every implementation has an AI component built-in. He goes on to say that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the perfect example because the sensors utilized for various purposes have AI capabilities to record data from many places for analytics and smarter judgments. Another subject with tremendous potential in both a local and global context is hyper-automation. Sampath IT, as a technology supplier, has already taken the measures to build and strengthen the Hyperautomation practice and has included them into their technology strategy.

According to Mangala, as a country, we can develop the resources to support emerging technologies by partnering with the primary provider or with their own IP develop with the ultimate goal of contributing to the national economy, enabling collaboration and developing synergy among tech companies, and further harnessing the idea.

While Sri Lanka has a wealth of talent, there appears to be something preventing it from realizing its full potential. Speaking on this, Mangala explains that because information technology is the fastest growing industry, developed countries have already taken strategic initiatives to implement change from the start, requiring students to be trained from the basics to advanced levels of computing. When technology and concepts are updated, according to him, study materials and content are updated as well. This is a constant process that is supported by government agencies and industry professionals. He also says that, since technology evolves at a rapid pace, not just the backing, but also constant upgrades, necessitate a great amount of effort to maintain momentum. He highlights the importance of maximizing potential and keeping talent, and that there should be a clear path for them to advance to the next level with possibilities for advancement.

Mangala says that professional services generate the most profit in the IT service market. Professionals are the human capital, and they must be trained in service quality and how to exceed client expectations to provide a better customer experience.

In terms of plans, Mangala claims that Sampath IT is continuing to implement the strategic action items that were outlined at the start of the year. Due to the current epidemic, certain planned activities have been altered, but other techniques are being adopted. He mentions that they cover crucial factors such as people, processes, and technology in the planning. Employees are the organization’s most valuable asset, and they have already taken precautions to preserve them and continue to provide services. He claims that they were able to manage cash flow even during the pandemic and that none of the staff were affected.

Meanwhile, he is focused on their employees’ development in terms of current knowledge and mental health. Human resources have taken steps to engage with other departments and establish employee development programs. In terms of technology, Sampath IT, as a systems integration and trusted ICT consultancy partner, is constantly working to strengthen its technology stack and knowledge base to assist its clients in achieving their business goals.

Mangala further mentions that one of the strategic activities they have planned is to contribute to national-level projects, which are now underway. Connecting with global partners and building synergies would also produce foreign cash and contribute to national revenues. CSR is another area where they are actively involved in boosting education in rural areas for specific demographics.

He believes that for tech enterprises to have a brighter future, they must adapt to rapid technological advances. While not all tech companies are capable of adapting, those that are should be able to build a strategy for a certain domain. For background, he discusses how Nokia was unable to accept technological change since they were fanatical about their technology stack, and as a result, Android was able to gain a larger market, thus impacting Nokia’s company. Similarly, startups and well-established IT organizations, according to Mangala, should have the intelligence to foresee the future and develop a plan to adapt to the shift.

When it comes to how emerging technologies are affecting IT companies’ bottom lines, he points out that IT is a highly competitive industry and the fastest growing business domain, with every IT product and service provider looking for ways to differentiate their businesses and employing various strategies to stay at the top of the list. He claims that this will assist firms in creating a blue ocean and positioning themselves in the sector regardless of competitors, which is critical for the business’s long-term viability.

To sum it up, Mangala predicts that cloud-based IT services would continue to rise in popularity due to their flexibility and average setting up costs. In the same way, organizations can simply scale up and down using cloud-based IT services. As a result, many small and medium-sized businesses believe cloud-based IT services to be the most effective deployment platform. Furthermore, Robotic Process Automation has already had an impact in terms of converting traditional manual operations to automated processes for increased productivity and cost savings.